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Domestic violence is not just a man thing

Thursday, August 12, 2010; A14

It is unfortunate that Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, described domestic violence in terms of men only when quoted in the Aug. 10 Associated Press Style story "Controversial song features abuse." By doing so, she mischaracterized a significant problem.

Domestic violence is not the province of one gender; abusers can be male or female, heterosexual or homosexual. Although abuse by males is widely recognized, abuse by females is generally not. As a consequence, male victims face problems because of the general lack of recognition of their plight.

Additionally, Ms. O'Neill should not have resorted to playground name-calling by saying that "it's only 2-year-olds and violent men who use violence to get what they want." This trivializes an important issue.

Kerry Hotopp, Columbia

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